This is certainly an interesting development for James Bond 25. It was confirmed recently, after months of uncertainty, that Daniel Craig is set to return as the titular MI6 spy in the next installment of the series, which will be his last go as 007. So it has been assumed that, given the way Spectre left things, that Christoph Waltz would be reprising his role as Ernst Stavro Blofeld in James Bond 25. But that's not going to be the case, as Waltz says he's not coming back.
The actor was revealed to be the classic Bond villain toward the end of Spectre, despite denying that he was taking up the mantle of Blofeld prior to the movie's release. However, in a recent interview, Christoph Waltz was asked point blank whether or not he'll be coming back to finish the job in James Bond 25. He, sadly, stated that he's not, but he did imply that someone else is going to be playing Blofeld in the new movie. Here's what he had to say about it
"No, I'm sorry. I'm really sad, but that's the tradition, that there is a new...name. Sorry. I would've liked to."
For those who may not be overly familiar with the James Bond franchise, the tradition Christoph Waltz is, or at least seems to be, referring to is the fact that no actor since You Only Live Twice has ever reprised the role of Blofeld, 007's arch nemesis. Instead, a new actor has played the role in each movie he's appeared ever since. The part was first played by Anthony Dawson in From Russia With Love, with actors like Donald Pleasence (You Only Live Twice) and Telly Savalas (On Her Majesty's Secret Service) also playing the part over the years.
With that said, it's not all that crazy to imagine that the producers of James Bond 25 would consider bringing in a new actor to play Blofeld this time around. Then again, the threads with Daniel Craig's Bond have been pretty consistent. There haven't really been any actors swapping out roles during his tenure. The closest thing to that happening was Judi Dench's M being replaced by Ralph Fiennes, but that's because her character died at the end of Skyfall. It's also entirely possible that Christoph Waltz just hasn't been contacted about it yet, therefore, he assumes he isn't coming back. Or he's just throwing us off the scent. But this seems pretty definitive.
James Bond 25 is set for release on November 8, 2019. No director has been hired just yet, but the rumored shortlist includes Denis Villeneuve (Blade Runner 2049), David McKenzie (Hell or High Water) and Yann Demange ('71). The cast should be confirmed somewhat soon, but don't expect to see Christoph Waltz mentioned. It'll be very interesting to see if they do indeed bring in a new Blofeld and, if so, who they get to play the part. You can check out the interview clip, courtesy of Talky Movie, for yourself below.